Sales and support: Collaborating to increase growth


by Andrew Gori

Sales + Support: Working Together to Drive Acquisition

sales-support-visual-ivr

“Sales and support working together can increase revenue and make happier customers. Rachel Serpa shares in this article that existing clients spend 31% more than new customers.  Zappix uses patented technology for providing ad space while on a support call using the Visual IVR to bring sales and support together.” – Sally Cooper, Marketing Operations Manager, Zappix Inc.

This is the third post in a four-part guest blog series from Base CRM dedicated to exploring the ways that sales and support can partner to help drive each other’s KPIs and business objectives.

As we discussed in the previous posts of this blog series, retaining existing customers is just as important as acquiring new ones, and sales and support can work together to to acquire those new customers.

However, with fresh challenges constantly arising in the marketplace and frequent changes associated with headcount, infrastructure and requirements, simply “retaining” customers is not enough. Rather, businesses must seek to grow with existing clients and enhance the value of these relationships over time.

And before you think that customer growth should take a backseat to acquisition, note that existing clients spend 31% more than new customers. Similarly, current customers are 60-70% likely to buy from you again, compared to the 5-20% purchase likelihood of new prospects.

While revenue generating activities tend to fall within the sales wheelhouse, support can play a vital role in driving upsells and add-ons. Here’s how these two departments can work together to foster customer growth.

Upsell when everyone is ready

Have you ever called to upsell a customer only to be greeted by an angry voice on the other end of the line? Maybe the customer has an open ticket with support and has been trying to get her issue resolved for a week. And now you’re trying to upsell her. Nobody wins in that situation, least of all the customer.

These are the types of situations that occur when sales and support teams have limited visibility into each other’s conversations – it’s nearly impossible to provide great customer experiences. What’s more, putting your sales team in a position where it must constantly ping support for information and updates about its customers zaps productivity for both teams.

Ensuring that key information like open and closed tickets is made visible to your reps in your sales platform enhances team agility as well as helps reps enter conversations with greater context.

Spot an open ticket? Now probably isn’t the time for an upsell. Did an issue just get resolved in an efficient and timely manner? Grow your relationship by giving the customer a quick call just to check in. Smooth sailing? Time to pitch that new add-on.

This level of insight also sets the stage for upselling through groundswell. For example, if your company offers a self-serve model, it’s possible that two departments from a single organization are unknowingly using your same product or service. However, sales may be in touch with only one of them.

Noting when one of these “self-servers” reaches out to support creates a perfect opportunity for sales to consolidate smaller, individual accounts into a larger corporate contract. Connecting these users under a single managed account gives sales a better understanding of the customer’s overall needs, creating a better customer experience and increasing the opportunity for long term growth.

Meet the customer’s needs with add-ons

Approaching a customer for an upsell should never feel like taking a shot in the dark. You should know enough about their business to identify whether or not a particular product will provide real value.

As the line of defense against unmet customer needs, support can help sales by identifying areas of opportunity and the right product or service fit for specific clients. Even better, giving sales the ability to see customers’ support tickets in real-time via their CRM provides context for product recommendations and opens the door for more consultative selling.

This level of integration also eliminates the types of issues that typically arise when an account is transitioned to a new rep. When reps have full insight into an account, including past support interactions at their fingertips, unfamiliarity with a customer’s previous challenges and requirements is no longer an excuse for missed or mishandled upsell opportunities.

Finally, existing customers are 50% more likely to try new products than recently signed clients. Closer collaboration and insight into one another’s customer conversations allows sales and support to recommend the right customers for beta programs or early releases. The exclusivity and engagement required by these programs deepens customer relationships and helps secure ongoing partnership.

Growing together

By integrating sales and support tools like Base and Zendesk, companies make it possible for their customer service and sales teams to work together like never before. The ability for these teams to quickly and easily view cross-functional information like each other’s customer conversations aids in creating more streamlined experiences that foster retention.

This post was written by Rachel Serpa and originally appeared on the Base CRM blog.